King Cross nightclub Soho, one of Sydney’s oldest nightspots, has closed after over 20 years in operation, with the venue’s owner placing blame on the city’s lockout laws for reducing the number of patrons at the club.
Soho owner Andrew Lazarus has confirmed the nightclub’s closure to inthemix, after reports of the shutdown began circulating on social media. Lazarus has said keeping the venue up and running is no longer a possibility.
“The lockout laws have destroyed an entertainment precinct making us the latest victim,” Lazarus said.
“These laws have seen patronage to the Kings Cross area decline significantly and when combined with the increased cost of compliance, it has made the business of providing entertainment no longer viable.”
Soho opened over 20 years ago, and operated as YU for eight years before returning to its original name in 2009. The venue has seen appearances from international acts such as Avicii, Hardwell, Basement Jaxx, Paul Van Dyk and Afrojack.
The nightclub has made headlines recently though, after the 23-year-old son of Soho owner Andrew Lazarus, was sentenced to at least three years’ jail for sexually assaulting a teenage girl outside the venue in 2013.
Longtime Soho promoter Matt Hryniuk has released a lengthy statement onto Facebook, saying, “The lockout laws have definitely effected us all, but Kings Cross in general has generally been a ghost town, especially for venues off the main drag.
“It’s time to say goodbye to another Sydney venue. When one door shuts another one opens. END OF AN ERA!” Read Hryniuk’s statement in full, below.
Also posting to Facebook, Sydney DJ Glover has praised the venue for nurturing local talent. “Locally, they have given hundreds of young DJs the chance to play their first gig (myself included) and help provide the platform for many to go on and further their careers,” Glover said.
An official statement by Soho management regarding the closure is yet to be released, but the Soho website remains suspended.
Soho’s closure comes shortly after Sydney’s Q Bar announced it will be closing on 19th July, after 22 years in the business. The flow-on effects of Sydney’s lockout laws has also led to the closure of The Flinders Hotel, and a number of other local venues.